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Member since: Sat Aug 28, 2010, 10:23 AM
Number of posts: 3,201

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Whats for Dinner Tuesday Jan 26

Grilled hamsteak and scalloped potatoes.

2 Navy boats taken by Iran. Iran promises they will be returned


WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran was holding 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their two small boats that drifted into Iranian waters after experiencing mechanical problems. Iran accused the sailors of trespassing but American officials said Tehran has assured them that the crew and vessels would be returned safely and promptly.
The sailors, nine men and one woman, were being held overnight at an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf, and were expected to be transferred to a U.S. ship in the region on Wednesday morning local time. Officials said they believe the U.S. had spoken to one of the crew, and all 10 were fine and uninjured.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told The Associated Press that the Riverine boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain when the U.S. lost contact with them.


U.S. officials said that the incident happened near Farsi Island in the middle of the Gulf. They said some type of mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, and they were picked up by Iran.
The semi-official Iranian news agency, FARS, said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy has detained 10 foreign forces, believed to be Americans, and said the sailors were trespassing in Iranian waters.
The incident came amid heightened tensions with Iran, and only hours before President Barack Obama was set to deliver his final State of the Union address to Congress and the public. It set off a dramatic series of calls and meetings as U.S. officials tried to determine the exact status of the crew and reach out to Iranian leaders.


Secretary of State John Kerry, who forged a personal relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif through three years of nuclear negotiations, called Zarif immediately on learning of the incident, according to a senior U.S. official. Kerry "personally engaged with Zarif on this issue to try to get to this outcome," the official said.
Kerry learned of the incident around 12:30 p.m. EST as he and Defense Secretary Ash Carter were meeting their Filipino counterparts at the State Department, the official said.
Officials said a radio signal from one of the boats showed that they were on Farsi Island, setting off efforts to contact the Iranians. The Riverine boats were not part of the carrier strike group, and were on a training mission as they traveled between Kuwait and Bahrain, officials said.

much more at the link - including the GOP response ..

emboldened by silver conviction bharara seeks to indict cuomo Jan 2.


United States Attorney Preet Bharara feels emboldened, sources say, following the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — on all of seven corruption charges. Despite lacking a “smoking gun” to constitute an explicit quid pro quo, the jury handed Bharara a sweeping win. Such is the public’s appetite for corrupt politicians, observers say.

Three sources are confirming that Bharara intends to indict Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 2nd — along with a half dozen associates and former staffers — on public corruption, racketeering, conspiracy, and honest services fraud.
The Chronicle is unable to confirm widespread rumors that the former staffers are Howard Glaser, Joe Percoco and Larry Schwartz.
Glaser resigned in June of last year as Director of State Operations and was thought to be Cuomo’s top aide. Percoco left a $175,000 salary with the Governor on October 25th of this year, and was known as Cuomo’s “political enforcer.”

Schwartz was caught up in the Moreland Commission scandal. He is thought to be guilty of obstruction of justice for actions he took in the hours immediately following Bharara’s confiscation of Moreland Commission documents.
One of the three sources — a longtime Albany insider — says that there are at least three additional targets of the investigation, likely to include Alain Kaloyeros, the head of SUNY Polytech who, at $800,000 per annum, is the highest paid state employee.

The other two men are said to be from Buffalo and have been “involved in the Administration’s economic development deals in particularly unseemly ways,” but the source would not elaborate.

not sure how reputable the link is.

health republic of NY closes down.

this really sucks for the people in NY.

Dear Valued Members,

Thank you for your membership and support of Health Republic Insurance of New York.








Information About Transition of Care

If you are either:

a) in an ongoing course of treatment with a provider for a life-threatening or a degenerative and disabling condition or disease; or

b) in the second or third trimester of a pregnancy when your new coverage becomes effective;

You may be able to continue to receive care from your provider for up to 60 days (or through pregnancy) under your new health insurance policy, even if your provider does not participate in your new health insurer’s network. To receive this transitional care, your provider must agree to accept as payment your new health insurer’s reimbursement for such services and to certain other conditions of providing care under the new policy. If your provider agrees, you will receive the services as if they were being provided by a participating provider and you will only pay for any applicable in-network cost-sharing. You, your representative or your provider should contact your new health insurer to determine if you are eligible for transitional care.

more at the link.

university with 100 percent accuracy record predicts Bernie is USA next president.


When Western Illinois University puts together their annual mock presidential election, some pundits tend to perk up and pay attention. After all, they accurately predicted Barack Obama’s presidential win in 2007, and his narrower reelection win in 2011, after the same system had been used to astonishingly predict every presidential election since 1975 with 100% accuracy.

The results of WIU’s 2015 mock election are in, and if you tend to take the mainstream media seriously, the results of that election will more than likely surprise you: Bernie Sanders won the presidency, then the general election… and he did both in a massive landslide.
The WIU mock election, in which thousands of students from multiple schools form parties and caucuses and play out a small-scale election over the course of several days, has Bernie Sanders beating Hillary Clinton in 22 out of 26 primary states; Hillary Clinton survives past Super Tuesday, but loses out before the month of March is concluded.
As Sanders’ running mate, the school picked Martin O’Malley, though WIU hasn’t had a perfect record with vice presidential candidates, nor with losing tickets; in 2007, they had a Barack Obama/ John Edwards, while saying the GOP ticket would be Giuliani/ McCain. The school made up for that however in 2011, when they (somehow) accurately predicted the losing Mitt Romney/ Paul Ryan ticket. Nobody saw that coming, but somehow, WIU’s students did.

The Republican student body put together a Jeb Bush/ Marco Rubio ticket for 2016, and if you thought WIU’s primary results were interesting, get a load of this: The Sanders/ O’Malley ticket creams the Bush/ Rubio ticket heavy-handedly, with a blow-out landslide win in which Sanders/ O’Malley takes home 404 electoral votes, to the measily 114 picked up by Bush/ Rubio.

more at the link

some good news .. boy missing for 13 years found safe.


An Alabama teenager who disappeared 13 years ago was found safe in Ohio on Nov. 1, Fox 8 News in Cleveland reports.
Julian Hernandez, now 18, was reported missing by his mother in Aug. 2002, after being allegedly abducted from the city of Birmingham by his non-custodial father Bobby Hernandez.
Thirteen years later, when the young Hernandez was attempting to apply to college, he realized that his Social Security number did not match his name, District Attorney Brandon Falls, of Alabama's Jefferson County, told local TV station WVTM.
Hernandez and a school counselor then learned that he was on the database of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the station says.

Congress just doesn't get it. more robo collection calls coming.


Deep inside the 114-page budget deal that passed the House Wednesday, legislative leaders tucked in a provision that will free debt collectors to bombard student loan borrowers with unlimited robocall and automated text messages where it hurts most — on their mobile devices — even when they are asked to stop.
The change is a major victory for the debt collections industry, which has retained a small army of lawyers and lobbyists for years to weaken the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the law that protects people from unwanted robocalls and prerecorded messages.
It’s also a big win for the small network of lobbyists within outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s inner circle, a cadre nicknamed “Boehnerland” by D.C insiders.


Marc Lampkin, Boehner’s former general counsel and close personal friend, is a lobbyist with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a law firm that has led the charge on Capitol Hill and with the Federal Communications Commission requesting liability exemptions from the TCPA on behalf of student loan servicing giant Nelnet. Barry Jackson, Boehner’s chief of staff for nearly 12 years, also works at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
Records show that Brownstein met with FCC officials over half a dozen times this year to ask for the exemptions. The firm also collected at least $220,000 from Nelnet to lobby Congress on the issue.
As the Huffington Post’s Shahien Nasirpour reported, “The measure in the potential budget deal (Section 301) would amend existing law to allow companies to use auto-dialers when they call borrowers’ cell phones — even when federal student loan borrowers haven’t consented to them, and even if the borrowers will be charged for them.” (bold added by me)


President Barack Obama also supports changing the law to allow more automated calls by debt collectors.
Consumer advocates are livid that congressional leaders, including Boehner, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate leaders, would agree to such a deal.
“Robocalls continue to be one of the top consumer complaints, and the overly broad provision in the budget bill would only make things worse,” said Christine Hines, legislative director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. “It’s a handout to the student loan and debt collection industries and it would roll back consumer protections against unsolicited and unwanted prerecorded calls.”


Other critics note that Nelnet has abused debt collection practices in the past, including one case in which a student who had never taken out a loan was harassed with 80 unwanted calls.
Lawmakers also used the debt ceiling as a maneuver to give legislative handouts to special interests last year. The so-called CRomnibus deal included $120 million in tanks that the Pentagon specifically asked Congress to stop requesting.

FDA approves first virus will kill cancer cells.


BY THE NUMBERS, the newest FDA-approved treatment for skin cancer doesn’t seem a real game changer. A $65,000 course of treatment extends melanoma patients’ lives by less than four and a half months, on average—and that result is barely statistically significant.


It’s how the new drug—Imlygic, made by the biotechnology company Amgen—works that has the oncology world so worked up. Imlygic is a virus—alive and infectious, the first to get a stamp of approval in the US for its ability to attack cancer cells. It opens a whole new front in the fight against cancer, which has the sneaky habit of coming back after chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. “It is a totally new class of weapons that we can now use,” says Antonio Chiocca, a neurosurgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. And the armory could be bigger, because coming up right behind Imlygic are over a dozen clinical trials for more anti-cancer viruses.


Imlygic itself is a reengineered version of the herpesvirus—the one that causes cold sores. To administer the drug, oncologists inject a massive dose—millions of viruses—directly into the skin tumor. Herpesvirus also prefers to infect cancer cells, busting them into bits. “The immune system sees all the debris,” says Chiocca. “This makes the immune system wake up and say, ‘Hey, there’s something going on here. Let’s check it out.’” So it’s a two-fer: Notionally, Imlygic attacks the tumor directly, and helps stimulate the patient’s own immune system into joining the fight.


What the data do show, though, is that Imlygic isn’t that great a drug by itself. In trials it extended survival time by 4.4 months and shrunk tumors for at least six months in 16 percent of patients. That’s not terribly effective (though its side effects—flu-like symptoms—are downright mild compared to most chemotherapy). It does show promise in combination with other drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, which inhibit the molecules that inhibit—so basically, stimulate—the immune system. One small trial of 19 patients with Imlygic and a checkpoint inhibitor called Yervoy found a response for half of the patients. “I think these combination approaches are where the real action is going to happen the future,” Bell says.

alot more at the link.

cancer sucks.

well I am a little late to the revolution but I am getting there.

have replaced most of my light bulbs ( Incandescent )
with LED bulbs still have a few that haven't burned out yet
but they will be replaced when they go.

I never used the curly ones … never liked em. they didn't seem
to last as long as advertised.

we lost a lot of good jobs making light bulbs .. many of them union jobs.

I like these LED ones better.

x posted from NC forum: is the GOP planning on changing the state retirement plan?

I guess the GOP wants to lose this next election. changing the state retirement plan.

House Democratic Leader Larry Hall called a press conference Thursday to tell reporters that a Republican “secret society” is planning sweeping changes to the state employee retirement system.
Hall said he’s heard that legislative leaders plan to switch to a defined contribution retirement system, either as part of the state budget deal or a separate bill this session.
But both House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said Thursday that the claims aren’t true.

“People have been talking for years about changing the retirement system to a defined contribution as opposed to a defined benefit plan,” Berger told The News & Observer shortly after Hall’s press conference. “I think people probably are still talking about that, but there’s nothing in the budget about that. I don’t see anything happening this session about it.”
Moore also said no changes are afoot. “The House wanted to maintain the current system we have, and there will be no change to that this year,” he told reporters.

State employees currently have a defined benefit plan that calculates retirement benefits based on their years of employment and their salary. A defined contribution plan – common in the private sector – would make set contributions for each employee to an investment fund, with benefits that vary based on how well the investment fund performs. Examples of defined contribution plans are 401(k) plans in which a portion of the employees’ contributions are matched by the employer.
A switch to defined contribution could reduce the state’s retirement costs, but it could also mean less generous benefits for retirees.

not sure if this is believable … this Dem could be just stirring the pot. getting some press on something that
isn't there.
when I worked for DOC this "rumor" made its way around every couple of years no matter if it was
Dems or GOP running things …

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article34711191.html#storylink=cpy
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